'Fugitive Dreams' Teaser: Two Drifters Take An Emotional, Surreal Journey Across The American Midwest

For most of this year, film festivals haven't been what they used to be. While some have simply been canceled in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, others fortunate enough to arrive later in the year are doing the best they can with limited theatrical screenings and many virtual premieres. One of those festivals is Fantasia, which will see the (virtual) world premiere of filmmaker Jason Neulander's feature directorial debut Fugitive Dreams.

Based on Caridad Svich's play Fugitive Pieces, the film follows two lost souls who form a surprising bond with each other as they confront their traumatic pasts while drifting across the American Midwest, meeting a handful of intriguing characters along the way, some real, and some maybe inside their imagination. /Film is exclusively debuting the first Fugitive Dreams trailer before the film's Fantasia premiere at the end of the month, and it will undoubtedly pique your curiosity about the story.

Fugitive Dreams Trailer

The trailer lets a voiceover from homeless drifter Mary (April Matthis) guide us through a montage of stunning black and white cinematography and some impressive production value. It's clear that this is the kind of movie that can't easily be summed up by a short trailer, so it instead creates a thoughtful vibe that reveals a variety of scenes from the film, resulting in a kind of dreamscape. Considering the movie's vacillation between what's real and what might be part of a surreal dream, the trailer perfectly captures the spirit of the movie.

Also starring in the film is Robbie Tann as John, another drifter desperate for any kind of human connection, looking for a home that doesn't really exist. Though the trailer doesn't reveal much with regards to the story of Mary and John as they trek across the Midwest, the synopsis below offers a much more detailed portrait of what these two are going through, and how they come to need each other.

If you'd like to know more about Fugitive Dreams, stay tuned for our interview with director and co-writer Jason Neulander, who talked with us about his cinematic influences, the challenges of editing the trailer, and much more.

In this allegorical road movie touching on themes of homelessness, mental health, and addiction, two lost souls embark across a dreamscape America. Their darkly strange journey confronts them with their traumatic pasts, and bonds them in compassion and love. Mary, a homeless drifter, is filled with anger and deep depression. When another drifter, John, inadvertently thwarts her suicide attempt, the two form an unlikely partnership across the American Midwest. John brings a certain innocence to their relationship, Mary, a hardened practicality. Mary's destination is "anywhere but here." John's is a place that only exists in his imagination. Along the way they meet a series of figures — ghosts of the road, voices of other cast-outs — deemed disposable by culture. These encounters challenge and torment John and Mary as they journey through a landscape that offers little solace for those living the most precarious of lives. The final leg of their wanderings brings them to the place of John's dreams where the gray of the real world melts into color and the troubles of their afflictions dissolve away. Over the course of their story, John and Mary come to understand that the home they seek is not a particular place within this country. As they discover in the end, their home is one another.

Fugitive Dreams premieres virtually during Fantasia on August 31, 2020.